Thursday, January 03, 2013

Winter Timeshare Vacation - Skiing in Spain

Not many people know that it’s possible to ski in Spain but more specifically it seems even more unlikely in Southern "sunny" Spain.

However, yes, there’s skiing in Southern Spain. Toward the most southern point of Europe where there’s on average 320 days of sun per year there is a mountain range that’s high enough to ski on. This mountain range is the Sierra Nevada and it’s in Granada province about 2.5 hours by car from Malaga airport.

Here’s a need-to-know guide for travelers to Spain who fancy seeing how the piste compares to neighbouring France:

The Mountains
One of the reasons why there’s snow is the Sierra Nevada is its lowest peak is about 6500 ft, and highest is over 11,000 ft above sea level. That, and the fact that the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada get snow fall up to nine months a year, makes it a great place to visit for a bit of skiing or snowboarding.

The highest peak is Mulhacén which is also the highest mountain in the Iberian Peninsula. The sun will undoubtedly blaze through the season and the Sierra Nevada is probably one of the best places to get a deep ski tan.

The reason the sun doesn’t melt the snow is the resort works hard through-out the night to compact the snow and add extra snow through 350 snow machines, this means although it’s sunny there’s minimum snow melt.

The Skiing Low Down
There are six ski areas – Veleta, Laguna De Las Yeguas, Borreguiles, Lomar de Dilar, Rio Monachil and Parador.

For families and beginners there are 16 green runs and fun recreation zones. The Mirlo Blanco zone has great activities like ice skating, ski biking, Inner Tubing and "Roller-Sleding" (which is a cross between a roller-coaster and bob-sled).

For intermediate skiers there are 40 Blue Runs and 50 Red Runs. For the experienced skiers there are nine black runs and two freestyle parks, with a half-pipe, jumps, ramps & rails plus a small lift.

Ski Passes and Equipment 
There’s only one sky pass and with this all ski lifts and gondolas can be used, you can buy them in advance or from the central square (Plaza de Andalucía) of the Sierra Nevada ski resort, the office is signposted ‘Taquillas’.

In the resort there are a lot of places to rent skis and boot as well as clothing so it’s not a worry if skiing in Spain was a last minute decision on your timeshare vacation to Spain. It’s also worth noting that with cheap flights into Malaga airport the extras charged for equipment like skis and boots can be more expensive than renting.

Arrival 
It’s most likely that you’ll arrive by a Malaga hire car or by bus to the Sierra Nevada Resort. If arriving by car there’s paid parking in the Plaza de Andalucía in KM31 or Peñones, all in the resort itself. However, it is possible sometimes to park for free by parking on the road side towards the mid-zone.

If arriving by bus, the likelihood is you got a bus either directly from Malaga bus station or you got 2 buses one from Malaga to Granada bus stations and then onto the Sierra Nevada. Either way the buses leave regularly and it’s very reasonable.

Check out the Spain timeshare rentals and Spain timeshare exchanges available for your winter timeshare vacation to sunny Spain.

Our guest author, Phil Collins, is a British travel writer based in Southern Spain. He is passionate about Spanish culture and has lived between Seville, Granada and Málaga for several years. He works for Espacar – a family run car hire firm based in Estepona, Málaga.

Photo Credit: snowmenu.com

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